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Fri Feb 1, 2013, 06:02 AM


Charter schools: A sign that America, like Rome, is being sacked

I wrote back in November how Republicans Turn Charter School Officials Into the New Robber Barons. We’ve just seen a new example of this out of Oregon, where the Oregonian is reporting Oregon charter school founders accused in $20 million racketeering lawsuit...

King and Donohoe “were the director and president, respectively,” the Oregonian relates, of EdChoices, an inappropriately named nonprofit, because apparently the choices were not so much about education as graft. Like crooked paymasters throughout time, or Indian agents in the Old West, they even lied about how many kids they had in their schools (the state paid them $6,000 for each student each year). The state’s money – and therefore the taxpayers’ – was apparently, in their own minds at least, theirs to do with what they pleased...

Any reasonable degree of oversight or vetting should have prevented the problem from arising. King had revealed his intentions before in the running of “three North Clackamas School District charter schools: New Urban High, Clackamas Middle College and Clackamas Web Academy” where “The district discovered a trail of financial problems, including hundreds of thousands of dollars in questioned expenditures, only after his departure...”

The Oregonian tells us that “state regulators in the education and justice departments to begin asking questions in spring 2010. He quickly stepped down. Donohoe said Friday that he doesn’t know how to reach him...”

Let states and students beware Republicans bearing solutions. America, like Troy, is being sacked. The Oregonian tells us that the state wants its money back but that’s what happens when Republicans want their country back. The most amusing anecdote to arise from this situation is the revelation that “the schools did legitimately educate some students.”


However...it ain't just about Republicans, though the author of the piece above tries to make it so.

Oregon Governor Appoints Himself Superintendent of Schools

In a flurry of education bills passed last week, Oregon governor John Kitzhaber (D) oversaw legislation to appoint an unlikely candidate for superintendent of schools: himself. Though many states have moved towards more centrally controlled education systems, Oregon became the first state to abolish the traditional office of superintendent and appoint the governor as superintendent of public instruction.

The governor will appoint a deputy superintendent to oversee the day-to-day activities in K-12 schools. The deputy must perform any duty designated by the governor and can be removed at any point following consultation with the state school board (which will also be newly appointed by the governor; this “superboard” of officials will oversee spending and policy for all grade levels).

(The 'dictator of schools' system again....it's so useful for education deform...)

How did this state of affairs come about? After Oregon’s application for the 2010 Race to the Top Competition placed seventh to last, parents and legislators began to press for innovation and reform. Kitzhaber argues that central authority will help him push needed reforms. Kitzhaber is already on the reform track with legislation allowing universities and community colleges to sponsor charter schools and raising the cap on online charter schools. He is also earning pushback from the state’s teacher’s unions.

(Race to the Top, an Obama (D) initiative that makes funding (just applying for funding, not even necessarily getting it) dependent on instituting the education deforms the ruling class want...)

Why does Kitzhaber, a former emergency room doctor, believe that he has the ability and expertise to oversee the entire education system?


More sacking:

More than 1.6 million American kids attend charter schools, which emerged in the early 1990s. Whatever their original intent, charters are fundamentally restructuring the school system by placing it in private — often for-profit — hands. They're making teachers and staff work harder and longer for less pay, usually without union benefits or protection.

In May, Philadelphia's schools announced a plan to close 64 schools and outsource 25 more to so-called "achievement networks" run by charter operators. The goal: that 40 percent of Philadelphia's children attend charters by 2017. Detroit's plans are similar.

Charter proponents claim that their schools are less bureaucratic and more efficient, and thus save taxpayer money. Yet evidence is mounting to show that the opposite is true. When Philadelphia first announced its restructuring plans, the budget earmarked for charters stood at $38 million. By July, that figure was "rounded up" to an astonishing $139 million. Since when is a $100-million cost-overrun a sign of cost-effectiveness?

Moreover, charter proponents argue that competition and choice pressure all schools to perform better. This assumes that schools operate on even playing fields. However, Detroit officials followed their restructuring plans by imposing a contract on teachers that caps class sizes at more than 40 students starting in kindergarten and at a staggering 61 for sixth grade through high school. No school can possibly "compete" under such conditions.

Finally, consider Muskegon Heights. The city hired charter operator Mosaica Education, a for-profit company premised on earning more from contracts to run schools than it pays out in expenses. In fact, Mosaica expects to earn as much as $11 million in its Muskegon Heights deal. That's roughly the same amount as the current budget deficit that officials gave as the reason to hire this outfit in the first place. Apparently, officials weren't troubled by Mosaica's record elsewhere in Michigan — its six other charter schools performed on average at the 13th percentile, according to the state's annual ranking in 2011.


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Reply Charter schools: A sign that America, like Rome, is being sacked (Original post)
HiPointDem Feb 2013 OP
xchrom Feb 2013 #1
theaocp Feb 2013 #2
stlsaxman Feb 2013 #3
ProfessionalLeftist Feb 2013 #4
grahamhgreen Feb 2013 #5
Coyotl Feb 2013 #6
HiPointDem Feb 2013 #9
proReality Feb 2013 #7
bvar22 Feb 2013 #8
ThoughtCriminal Feb 2013 #10

Response to HiPointDem (Original post)

Fri Feb 1, 2013, 08:57 AM

5. Corporations, by charter, put profits ahead of education.

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Response to HiPointDem (Original post)

Fri Feb 1, 2013, 09:03 AM

6. Dominionist charter schools are teaching creationism with taxpayer support too!

A double edged sword, steal the public money and promote overthrowing the Constitution with it too! It is a self-funding plan to take over the country.

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Response to Coyotl (Reply #6)

Fri Feb 1, 2013, 01:58 PM

9. "steal the public money and promote overthrowing the Constitution with it too!" that is another


thing, that the public money can effectively be skimmed & used for whatever -- politics, overthrowing the constitution, terrorism...

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Response to HiPointDem (Original post)

Fri Feb 1, 2013, 09:06 AM

7. Destroying America's future. n/t

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Response to HiPointDem (Original post)

Fri Feb 1, 2013, 01:25 PM

8. LOL

"Republicans Turn Charter School Officials Into the New Robber Barons. (?)

The author never checked Rahm Emanuel's Party Membership,
or that of all the "Centrist" Democrats who never saw anything in the Commons they didn't want to Privatize....just like the Republicans.

You will know them by their WORKS,
not by their rhetoric, promises, or excuses.

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Response to HiPointDem (Original post)

Fri Feb 1, 2013, 08:32 PM

10. An ignorant electorate is just a bonus

For GOP legislatures, this is just so irresistible. They can funnel billions of taxpayer dollars to cronies, destroy public education, scapegoat teacher unions, add anti-science religious indoctrination and create an ignorant, low-wage population all in one sweet package that affirms their devotion to "Free-Market Solutions".

All it needs is more guns, tobacco and toxic waste to make it the most favorite conservative idea ever.

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